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Science Rocks!



your results

Sent in by:
Erin of Bountiful, VT

Secretly scope out stuff with this spying tool.

Materials Needed

  • 2 half-gallon milk or juice cartons
  • 2 small mirrors
  • scissors
  • tape



  1. A periscope is a great tool for spying on your big brother or sister. It's made of two mirrors that are held in a certain way so that you can see over walls or around corners. Milk or juice cartons help to keep the mirrors in place.
  2. To make your own periscope, start by completely opening the tops of two cartons.
  3. Next tape the open parts of the cartons together to make one long box.
  4. Now cut two windows out of the box - one in the front at the bottom and one on the back at the top - so that you can look in and see out of your periscope.
  5. Put aside your box for a minute and hold the two mirrors so that you can see in one and out the other. If you're trying to see over a countertop, for example, you should hold one mirror in front of you at eye level and the other mirror just above the height of the counter. Once you get a clear view, notice the angles at which you're holding the mirrors.
  6. Now you need to put the mirrors in the box at these angles. To do this, cut out two diagonal slots in your box - one at the bottom and one at the top - that match the angles of the mirrors.
  7. When you slide the mirrors in, make sure they face the two windows you cut out earlier.
  8. Now look through the bottom window of your periscope. You should be able to see out of the top window. If you can't, adjust the mirrors a little bit. You may also want to tape the mirrors in place.

  1. Now your periscope is done!

Ready to hear the sci scoop? When you look at something, like a ball, you see it because light from the sun or a lamp bounces off the ball and goes into your eye. When you hold the ball around the corner, light bouncing off the ball can't get to your eye anymore so you can't see it. But you CAN see it when you use a periscope. That's because the periscope uses mirrors to bounce the light from the ball around the corner and into your eye. Can you think of a way to improve this periscope design? What happens if you use a longer box? Can you make a periscope using just one mirror? Try it out, and send your results to ZOOM!

Some of your Results

Ahsan, age 6 of Parlin, NJ wrote:
It is amazing that I can see what is happening in my second bunker when I m lying in the down bunker bed. For my science competition, I took it to school and I won.

Shaurya, age 13 of Singapore wrote:
The periscope project is really fun to play with and can be very useful also. I had to make this for my school project. Periscopes were used in world wars and they helped. Although its a little bit difficult to fit the mirrors but it worked.

Soumyajit, age 15 of Kolkata, India wrote:
it was a nice project. I liked it very much. it helped a lot fo getting the 2nd prize.

Pranav of Satara wrote:
it was fun looking things around! it was difficult to fix the mirrors and I want to say thank to zoomsci

Yarshna, age 12 of Mumbai wrote:
It was the coolest thing I have ever made!! It was so much fun!!

Angel, age 11 of Aurora, MO wrote:
Well it was kinda hard getting the matireals, because we only use plastic milk containers not carton. So I have to ask my friend if they have any cartons that I could use. Good thing is they have some. So I was kinda glad. But it was really fun, this is accually my first time making a periscope just because its a science project.

Ananya, age 11 of Cuttack, India wrote:
It is wonderful spy tool but it is very hard to make.

Deepak, age 14 of Delhi, India wrote:
I have made this model and I have take first prise in science working model compition.

Viresha, age 13 of Dubai wrote:
It was zoom a tistic! absolutely awesome... I just needed help about the mirrors... I have to make another periscope again... if any know any tips on the mirror stuff... please help???

Rohit, age 12 of Delhi, India wrote:
it was fun looking things around! it was difficult to fix the mirrors

Madhan, age 12 of Banglore, India wrote:
it was fun to see the things above me but it was difficult to

Dhwani, age 12 of Bharuch wrote:
It was a real fun. the only problem was to fit the mirrors.

Darren, age 10 of Singapore, Temasak wrote:
It works and I used it to spy my mother's cooking!:P

Kina, age 8 of Manheim, PA wrote:
It was awesome! when I made mine I followed the directions to a tee. I was able to see things I would've never noticed with the naked eye! I love my periscope... it's ZOOM-tastic!

Ambhigai, age 10 of Singapore wrote:
it was abit hard but I tried very hard! the 1st time I did it it was a very big mistake! then I try it then I pick up my skills. as my science teacher gave us project I choose this as the others I cannot research in the web. I wanted to try the others as I thought it was easy but it was not! so glad I had the website to search how to do. and I think this is a nice project to do in my holidays. I had a fun time doing this project in my holidays!

Shubham of Paonta Sahib, India wrote:
it was a great fun making it and it worked a little bit

Marah, age 11 of FL wrote:
It was AWESOME! It really worked out! Itz kind of difficult to paste the mirrors but the rest was cool!

Zojz, age 12 of Belarus wrote:
i had so much fun. I had to give to the teacher since it was a scoll project buti decide to make another one. its awesome!!! yo!!!

Usman, age 10 of Cambridge, ON wrote:
It worked GREAT!!! There were no problems at all! It's a usefull spy tool.

Sanjanaa, age 12 of Pune, India wrote:
it was really fun! it was hard to put the mirrors on so I put some cardboard behind it to balance and glue it.

Mayta, age 12 of Toronto wrote:
It worked out great! The only problem I really had was keeping the mirrors in place but other than that it worked really good!

Fizza, age 10 of Brampton, ON wrote:
It is superb!!! The only problem was to tape the mirrors in place, but it turned out fantastic.

Hasnaa, age 10 of Los Angeles, CA wrote:
I really loved making it. I used a make up mirror but, it came out nice. Even if it was for school fair.

Rufaida, age 9 of Burlington, ON wrote:
I could see around my house and even spyed on my friends.

Jonah, age 11 of Makati, SC wrote:
Periscope is cool. I saw adog over the wall.

Rachana, age 13 of Manipal, India wrote:
I made one from toothpaste carton. It was real fun making one & using it to spy on my younger brother!

Abhishek, age 12 of India wrote:
It really worked and lucky I found this site because I had to make a model of a periscope for homework!!

Usman, age 8 of Mississauga, ON wrote:
When I try it out it work great. The only problem was the miror kept falling out.

Toby, age 10 of San Lorenzo, CA wrote:
It was so cool. I could see around corners and everything. It's a fun thing to make.

Zareef, age 7 of Austin, TX wrote:
I saw the show when you made a periscope so I made a periscope and I looked in the miror with the periscope and I saw the periscope in the periscope.

Keondra, age 10 of Little Rock, AR wrote:
I went swimming and I took it with me. I poked it out the water and it was cool!

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